I wrote a post about how Nadine Dorries and Baroness Warsi are shitting themselves about a judge ruling that having prayers on a local council agenda contravenes the Local Governments Act 1972 (or something) and so prayers had to be moved off the agenda. Apparently this is persecuting the religious and if we keep going we’re going to end up in a mad, mad dictatorship with people being fired from a Trebuche foreven the slightest mention of a god of anykind.
My post got too ranty and incoherent. So here we are with this one. Trying again.
These fearmongers waffle on about militant secularism, about how no one is going to be able to practice their religion, or wear a cross or turban out in public. I presume they’re worried about about other religions not just christianity. No one seems to mention the others though.
The thing is, there is no such thing as ‘militant secularism’. Secularism is about separating religion from the state. There is no official national religion, prayers and other religious practises are performed during official duty or procedures, the state does not give favour towards one religion or another. Once that has been achieved you have a secular society. Secularism is secularism, there is no ‘militant’ about it.
Once you start removing religion from the personal and private lives of people you move beyond secularism and into the realm of a totalitarian state. Secularists do not want that. Secularists don’t give two shit what other people believe. they just do not want religion involved in running the country.
Take religion out of the legaslative process? That is A Good Thing. Laws shouldn’t be based on scripture. Your beliefs shouldn’t dictate how people that don’t believe what you do are treated.
Take the evangelical off the street corner? That is A Bad Thing. I might not like the bloke on the street corner shouting about how we’re all doomed unless we kneel before his imagination, it may even offend me to be cast as an evil sinner (it doesn’t, by the way), but that is his free to do that. He is not making me do anything. I can ask him to shut the fuck up. I can argue his points. I can ignore him, but he is not compelling me to behave or act in a certain way. The is man is, quite rightly using his freedom of expression, amongst others and no secularist would take that away.
So all this shrillness about about the collapse of society if a few people don’t say a couple of words to a diety in the morning is absolute bollocks. If a group of people need to have a moment to reflect on the business ahead, to thank or ask for guidance from a mythical entity then do it on your own time.
Either you give a give shit about religion having a say in running the country, and want to stop it, in which case you are a secularist or you don’t. These gits, with all their talk of DOOM if a prayer is missed seem to be confusing secularism with being a cunt.
What doesn’t help keep things in perspective is stuff like this, the poll in the Telegraph…
“Are you worried by the threat of militant secularism in Britian?” is the question, and what a fucking question. Threat to what? The threat that the church of England will lose it’s priveliged place in the corridors of power? The threat that laws will be passed using reasoning and evidence rather than based on what someone wrote 1500, 2000, 4000 years ago?
Three of the four answers are just as stupid and don’t relate to the question.
Answer 1: “Marginalising religion is a form of intolerance seen in totalitarian regimes”
Religion isn’t being marginalised. It is just needs to be removed from the legaslative process. In totalitarian regimes, a ban on religion, or the ban on all but one, pervades in to the private lives of people. Secularism is not about that.
Answer 2: “People should worship in private and not display religious symbols in public”
Out in public, in public places, on their own vehicles, on their own bodies people, are free to do what they want as long as it doesn’t cause a breach of the peace and other public order laws. That’s not an answer about secularism, it’s an answer to a question about freedom of religion.
Answer 3: “People should feel proud to worship in public and display their faith”
Secularism isn’t about making people ashamed of their beliefs, just as much as it’s about the state not shoving religion down peoples’ throats.
Vicars, bishops, imams, rabbis, santos and all sort of religious people and people with religious beliefs have a great deal to contribute to society and the running of it. They should be allowed to contribute ideas born of religion so they can be debated as to whether they are good ideas. Those ideas shouldn’t be there just because they come from religion though.
Anyway, this post is long and rambling enough and I’m gonna start ranting again so it’s stopping here.